YANKTON, S.D. – In a season of dramatic turnaround, the Concordia University women’s golf team went from 11th in the GPAC in 2012-13 all the way up to the middle of the pack in 2013-14. Led by freshman Amy Ahlers, the Bulldogs were one stroke away from a season low at Monday’s season-ending GPAC Qualifier No. 4 amid near perfect golf conditions at Fox Run Golf Course in Yankton, S.D.
Ahlers ended the season by shooting a 359 on the way to finishing sixth overall with a cumulative GPAC total of 366-374-383-359–1,482. The Bulldogs cut 124 strokes off their qualifier total from the previous season. Individually, Ahlers shot an 11-over-par 83 on Monday to secure a tie for fourth on the conference leaderboard (89-80-80-83–332).
“Going from 11th to sixth has a lot do with the two freshmen – Amy Ahlers and Kayla Krueger,” head coach Brett Muller said. “We hope that shooting one of our lowest team scores all season helps us build momentum. We’re not where we want to be but we took a step in the right direction this season.”
Ahlers, who had claimed first-place finishes at the second and third qualifiers, settled in on Monday after a slow start on her first few holes. She placed 13th on the day to record her ninth top-20 finish in 10 meets (12 rounds) in 2013-14. The Albion, Neb., native topped the team with a season average of 84.6.
“Today she got off to a slow start. She bogeyed her first three holes,” Muller said. “I think she put a lot of pressure on herself knowing she had to have a really low score to win the GPAC. Once she calmed down she was much better.”
Krueger (Aberdeen, S.D.) carded an 85 on Monday, just one stroke off her season low of 84 at GPAC Qualifier No. 2. That allowed Krueger (92-84-98-85–359) to move up three spots to No. 16 in the conference standings. She held down the No. 2 spot in the Bulldog lineup throughout the season and finished with a season average of 91.8.
The rest of the Concordia lineup included sophomore Kristin Remm (94) and juniors Allison Shieffer (97) and Melissa McIntosh (103). Schieffer (98-106-101-97–402) placed 34th and McIntosh (87-110-104-103–404) 35th. Remm did not qualify for the leaderboard because she did not compete at GPAC Qualifier No. 1. In three qualifiers, Remm totaled a 304.
Of the seven golfers on the roster, two are freshmen, two are sophomores and three are juniors. Muller expects continued improvement in 2014-15.
Dakota Wesleyan won the GPAC title with its cumulative score of 1,308, 59 strokes better than runner up Northwestern. Dakota Wesleyan also had the top two individuals in Lauren Fitts (318) and Chelsea Burback (324).